Bienvenue in Paris Basketball fans.
The NBA goes global again by heading to France for the regular season game between the six-time champion Chicago Bulls and three-time league champion Detroit Pistons on January 19 at the Accor Arena.
The game marks the NBA’s first return to Europe since January 2020, when Paris also hosted the Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets.
French fans will have plenty to feast on when the Pistons take on the Bulls, not just their star’s homecoming Killian Hayes.
The 21-year-old Frenchman began his basketball career in the capital and will look to continue his love affair with the city by winning the Pistons in front of his home crowd.
But the task ahead of Hayes and the Pistons will not be easy.
Currently ranked second from bottom in the Eastern Conference standings, the Pistons (12-35) are in the midst of a tumultuous season that was exacerbated last month by the exclusion of the #1 pick in the 2021 draft Cade Cunningham due to a season-ending injury.
Their lack of fortune has left many wondering if the team can now refuel the rest of the season to boost their chances of signing French generational talent Winner Wembanyamawho is widely expected to be the number one pick in the first round of the 2023 Draft.
The Bulls (20-24), ranked 10th in the East, just outside the playoff zone, although also suffering from inconsistencies this season, will be a strong competition.
In addition to the fact that it boasts a team that includes Olympic gold medalists Zach LaVine (2020) and DeMar DeRozan (2016) The Bulls have already recorded a victory over the Pistons this season with a 132-118 home win on December 31, 2022.
The Bulls will be heavily favored to win the clash, especially if DeRozan’s recent quad injury that ruled him out of the last three games is corrected
NBA Paris Game 2023: International stars to watch
The best of North America’s best basketball leagues will surely be the main event when the game ends at the Accor Arena, but it won’t be the only thing in the spotlight.
The year’s only opportunity to catch the NBA in Europe means fans from across the continent will be traveling to see some of their biggest stars.
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes (FRA), Bojan Bogdanovic (CRO)
Certainly the support of French fans in the building on Thursday night will be number seven in the 2020 NBA draft, Hayes.
The 21-year-old was recently thrown into a starting role following Cunningham’s injury and the Frenchman is reacting positively. Since taking the starting spot, Hayes has improved stats including career highs for points and assists per game, as well as three-pointer percentage.
Joining Hayes as an international star to watch with the Pistons belongs to Croatia Boyan Bogdanovic.
The 33-year-old, who has played for several other NBA clubs including the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz, is a noted three-pointer and is currently in great form. The Croatian is having a career-scoring season, averaging 21.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
Chicago Bulls: Goran Dragic (SLO), Nikola Vucevic (MNE)
Fans of the European nations Slovenia and Montenegro will have a chance to catch two of their all-time greatests when the Bulls head to court in Paris.
Two-time All-Star (2019, 2021) Nikola Vucevic became a vital part of the Bulls’ starting five, teaming up with LaVine and DeRozan to form the “Big Three”. The 33-year-old Montenegrin center just recorded his ninth straight game after scoring a season-high 43 points in the Bulls’ victory over reigning champions Golden State Warriors on Sunday (January 15).
Meanwhile, the Slovenians will keep an eye on their veteran Goran Drastic Exactly.
After surprising his country by coming out of international retirement to compete in EuroBasket i FIBA World Cup qualifiers last year, there are still hopes that the man known as “The Dragon” will compete in this year’s show event.
Dragic has already mentioned that this NBA season could be his last and said he will see how his body is doing before deciding whether to compete against him Luke Doncic at the tournament, which will be co-hosted by Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia.
What time does the Detroit Pistons vs Chicago Bulls Paris match start?
Bulls and Pistons kicks off at the Accor Arena at 9pm Central European Time (UTC+1).
For viewers in the United States, which is 2:00 p.m. CST for fans in Chicago, 3:00 p.m. in Detroit where EST is observed.
How to watch the Detroit Pistons vs Chicago Bulls live during the NBA Paris Game 2023
NBA Paris Game 2023 will be broadcast live in France on Canal+ and beIN SPORTS.
Fans around the world will also be able to stream the game via NBA league card.